Bryan High School students raise thousands for Henry Doorly Zoo

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Check out this assignment for a great cause, Bryan High School students fusing art with conservation to raise money for the zoo.

Gone are the days of art for art’s sake, at least for several of the talented teens in the Art Conservation Club at the school.

Ellaina Stratos, a future entrepreneur and biologist says the school is putting community impact on the map. “All of us are going to start making a bigger impact on the community more and more,” she said.

Emphasis on bigger, because the group’s impact is already being felt.

The art club has raised nearly $7,000 and counting in the past two years with hand-crafted pieces for display at the Henry Doorly Zoo.

“I enjoy all parts of the art club, making and selling the art, but knowing where it’s going and that it’s gonna help people and animals,” shared Lilianah Orr, a senior and future Veterinarian.

Take your pick!

Whether it’s jewelry, sculptures, digital art, ceramic plant pots, watercolor paintings, and more, when sold, each installment directly benefits enrichment activities for zoo animals.

The young artists are led by Ms. Rebekah Pilypaitis, an instructor at Bryan High who sees art as a bridge to successful problem-solving.

“I feel like it’s an environmental science concept and a global issue students should be aware of and how to be better stewards of the planet,” said Pilypaitis.

The club has reciprocal benefits, showing students their skills can inspire people to care about the world around them and also help them hone their creativity.

“A sense of confidence and pride knowing something I’m doing has such a big impact,” said Ellaina.

It’s the club’s fifth year in existence and their fourth time hosting the art exhibit in the zoo’s Harper event center, which was held April 23rd.

Although their masterpieces are packed up for the year, the public can still champion their efforts to support the zoo’s conservation programs.

If anyone would like to donate money, supplies, or help in any way, they are encouraged to call Bryan High School.

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